Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Academic Motivation Among Emerging Adult Women

Cristela Maria Thorne Mitchell, Walden University

Abstract

For women who are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), one avenue to gaining independence from their partners is enhanced employment opportunities from obtaining a college degree. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between IPV and academic motivation among emerging adult women, and whether depressive symptoms mediate the relationship. Bandura's social learning theory, Deci and Ryan's theory of self-determination, and Seligman's theory of learned helplessness were the theoretical frameworks of the study. The study sample consisted of 225 women 19-29 years of age who were enrolled in higher education and who had experienced violence from an intimate partner within the past 12 months. An online survey was administered to collect data on IPV, depressive symptoms, and academic motivation using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2), the Modified Beck Depression Inventory (MBDI) scales, and the Academic Motivation Scale—College Version (AMS-C). The study data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. The results indicated that physical assault and psychological aggression were not statistically significant as predictors of depressive symptoms. However, there was significant indirect effect on MBDI scores on IPV and on academic motivation, suggesting that depressive symptoms mediate the correlations between depressive symptoms, psychological aggression, physical assault, and amotivation. Future research studies could be conducted on this topic using other CTS2 and AMS-C subscales with MBDI scores. The findings of this study may contribute to social change by inviting interest among educators, scholars, and mental health professionals in replicating it with a larger sample size.